Twin newborn elephants have been discovered last week at the Samburu National Reserve located in Northern Kenya. Tour guides from the park’s luxury eco-camp Elephant Watch Camp (EWC) first spotted the male and female tuskers out on safari at the weekend. With the last known case recorded in 2006, they are just the second set of twin calves ever to have been chanced upon by Save the Elephants (STE), a non-profit local conservation charity that trains EWC guides to distinguish individual elephants and families in the park.

STE charity founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton noted that this is a crucial time for the twins as the previously encountered set born 15 years ago had not survived long after birth. “Twins are rarely encountered in elephant populations — and form around only 1% of births. Quite often the mothers don’t have enough milk to support two calves,” he said. Bora, the elephants’ mother, is from the reserve’s Winds II family. The two baby fellows are her second and third calves since 2017 after having her first. Meanwhile, poachers have been hunting elephants in Kenya and other sub-Saharan African countries for ivory demand with their tusks, which are commonly used by Asians for traditional medicines. However, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service, the African country’s elephant population as of 2020 has doubled (from 16,000 to 34,800) since 1989.